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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, September 2019

Released: 2019-11-28

Average weekly earnings — Canada

$1,042.09

September 2019

4.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.L.

$1,074.51

September 2019

3.3% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — P.E.I.

$878.60

September 2019

4.3% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.S.

$911.29

September 2019

4.4% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.B.

$947.92

September 2019

3.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Que.

$974.56

September 2019

4.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Ont.

$1,066.78

September 2019

3.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Man.

$970.73

September 2019

3.5% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Sask.

$1,044.26

September 2019

3.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Alta.

$1,177.54

September 2019

3.4% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — B.C.

$1,009.30

September 2019

3.4% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Y.T.

$1,182.73

September 2019

4.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.W.T.

$1,427.39

September 2019

0.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Nvt.

$1,415.75

September 2019

1.4% increase

(12-month change)

The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,042 in September, up 0.9% from August. Compared with September 2018, earnings grew by 4.0%, continuing an upward trend observed since March.

In general, changes in weekly earnings reflect a number of factors, including wage growth; changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience; and average hours worked per week.

Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.0 hours per week in September, up on both a monthly and year-over-year basis.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours

To explore the most recent results of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours in an interactive format, visit the "Earnings and payroll employment in brief: Interactive app."

Earnings up in almost all of the largest industrial sectors

Compared with September 2018, average weekly earnings grew in 9 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by accommodation and food services, administrative and support services, and manufacturing. At the same time, earnings were little changed in wholesale trade.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, September 2019
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, September 2019

In accommodation and food services, average weekly earnings rose 6.2% to $429. Earnings increased the most in the accommodation services subsector. Weekly earnings were up in the majority of the provinces, with the largest increase recorded in Alberta. Earnings and hours in this sector have trended up in the third quarter, driving the year-over-year earnings gains.

On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings in administrative and support services increased 6.1% to $832. All of this growth occurred in the fourth quarter of 2018. The year-over-year growth was driven by the employment services and services to buildings and dwellings industries, while large earnings declines in the office administrative services industry tempered these increases. Most of the year-over-year growth in the sector can be attributed to Quebec and Ontario.

Average weekly earnings in manufacturing were $1,154 in September 2019, up 6.0% compared with 12 months earlier. Increases were recorded in all provinces and were primarily driven by Quebec and Ontario. Earnings growth was spread across many subsectors, with transportation equipment and food manufacturing contributing the most to the rise.

Payroll employees in professional, scientific and technical services earned $1,474 per week in September, up 5.8% year over year. Most of the growth can be attributed to the highly paid computer systems design and related services industry. Provincially, Ontario contributed to most of the year-over-year growth in the sector.

In retail trade, average weekly earnings rose 4.3% to $626, continuing an upward trend that began April. Average weekly hours in the sector have also trended up over this period. Year over year, earnings increased the most in Quebec. The year-over-year growth was spread across several subsectors, with motor vehicle and parts dealers and food and beverage stores contributing the most to the rise.

Year over year, weekly earnings in health care and social assistance grew 4.3% to $944. Earnings increased the most in the ambulatory health care services subsector. Quebec and British Columbia accounted for most of the earnings growth in the sector.

Compared with September 2018, earnings in the construction sector grew 4.1% to $1,303, largely due to gains recorded over the previous three months. At the subsector level, the year-over-year growth was highest in the construction of buildings. Earnings in the construction sector were up in several provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec.

In educational services, earnings rose 3.6% to $1,080, primarily driven by Ontario. Most of the growth at the industry level can be attributed to universities and elementary and secondary schools.

Payroll employees in public administration had average weekly earnings of $1,329, up 1.2% from September 2018. The increase was predominantly due to a rise in earnings in local, municipal and regional public administration. Provincially, earnings growth in public administration was driven by Quebec.

Among the smaller industrial sectors, earnings in transportation and warehousing rose 9.7% to $1,121, mainly due to growth recorded in Ontario. Nationally, earnings growth was spread across most subsectors, with large increases observed in the air and transit and ground passenger transportation subsectors. Earnings in this sector have trended up over the past six months and it was one of the largest contributors to the national earnings increase in September 2019.

Earnings up in all provinces

Year over year, average weekly earnings were up in all 10 provinces in September, led by Quebec.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings by province, September 2019
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings by province, September 2019

Payroll employees in Quebec earned an average of $975 per week in September, up 4.9% from 12 months earlier. Earnings growth was spread across most sectors, with manufacturing contributing the most to the rise. Earnings in the province have trended upward over the previous six months. Over the same period, the unemployment rate in Quebec has remained at or below 5.0% and was 4.8% in September.

Year over year, earnings in Nova Scotia grew 4.4% to $911. Health care and social assistance and educational services contributed the most to the earnings growth over the previous 12 months.

In Prince Edward Island, earnings rose 4.3% to $879. Gains were spread across several sectors, with notable increases in health care and social assistance and manufacturing. Weekly earnings in the province have trended upward since March.

Compared with September 2018, average weekly earnings in Ontario increased 3.8% to $1,067. Notable gains were recorded in the professional, scientific and technical services; transportation and warehousing; and manufacturing sectors. Earnings in the province have trended up in the third quarter, driving the year-over-year growth. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate was 5.3% in September, and has remained at or below 6.0% over the previous 12 months.

Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick were $948 in September, up 3.7% compared with 12 months earlier. Increases were recorded across the majority of sectors, with health care and social assistance as well as manufacturing contributing the most to the growth. Earnings and hours worked in the province have trended up in the third quarter.

In Manitoba, the earnings of payroll employees increased 3.5% to $971 per week on a year-over-year basis. Earnings growth was recorded in several sectors, with the largest contributor to the rise being manufacturing.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average earnings in British Columbia rose 3.4% to $1,009. Earnings growth was driven by gains in professional, scientific and technical services and in health care and social assistance. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since March.

In Alberta, weekly earnings rose 3.4% to $1,178, partially due to a low point observed in September 2018. Large employment growth in the health care and social assistance sector, as well as increased earnings in the transportation and warehousing sector contributed the most to the earnings growth over this period.

Earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador grew 3.3% to $1,075 and have been on an upward trend since June. Most of the year-over-year growth in the province can be attributed to the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and construction sectors. At the same time, these increases were somewhat moderated by employment declines in educational services and a decrease in earnings in public administration. According to the LFS, the unemployment rate in the province declined 1.8 percentage points to 11.5% on a year-over-year basis in September.

Payroll employees in Saskatchewan had average weekly earnings of $1,044, an increase of 3.1% compared with September 2018. Several sectors contributed to the year-over-year growth, led by health care and social assistance and by manufacturing. According to LFS data, the unemployment rate decreased 1.0 percentage point to 5.1% compared with September 2018.

Payroll employment decreased from August to September

Compared with August, the number of payroll employees declined by 28,000 in September. Notable decreases were recorded in retail trade, as well as in construction and educational services. Payroll employment in retail trade has been trending down since March 2019. Compared with August, increases were observed in administrative and support services, health and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services.

On a year-over-year basis in September, the number of payroll employees grew by 303,700 (+1.8%). Employment increased in most sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+66,300 or +3.3%) as well as professional, scientific and technical services (+48,700 or +5.2%). At the same time, decreases were recorded in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (-2,900 or -1.4%) and forestry, logging and support (-1,900 or -5.0%).



Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used to measure the following goals:

  Note to readers

The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is now part of Statistics Canada's Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP), providing a more efficient model to produce economic statistics in a robust and flexible manner while reducing response burden on business respondents.

The SEPH is produced by a combination of a census of approximately one million payroll deduction records provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Business Payrolls Survey, which collects data from a sample of 15,000 establishments. Federal, provincial and territorial public administration data are collected from various administrative records provided by these levels of government. The key objective of the SEPH is to provide a monthly portrait of the level of earnings and the number of jobs and hours worked by detailed industry at the national, provincial and territorial levels.

Estimates of average weekly earnings and hours worked are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level. Payroll employment estimates are based on census of administrative data and are not subject to sampling variability.

With each release, data for the current reference month are subject to revision. Data have been revised for the previous month. Users are encouraged to request and use the most up-to-date data for each month.

Statistics Canada also produces employment estimates from its Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS is a monthly household survey, the main objective of which is to divide the working-age population into three mutually exclusive groups: the employed (including the self-employed), the unemployed, and those not in the labour force. This survey is the official source for the unemployment rate, and collects data on the socio-demographic characteristics of all those in the labour market.

As a result of conceptual and methodological differences, estimates of changes from the SEPH and LFS do differ from time to time. However, the trends in the data are quite similar. For a more in-depth discussion of the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (Catalogue number72-203-G).

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitate comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Non-farm payroll employment data are for all hourly and salaried employees, as well as for the "other employees" category, which includes piece-rate and commission-only employees.

Unless otherwise specified, average weekly hours data are for hourly and salaried employees only and exclude businesses that could not be classified to a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

All earnings data include overtime pay and exclude businesses that could not be classified to a NAICS code. Earnings data are based on gross taxable payroll before source deductions. Average weekly earnings are derived by dividing total weekly earnings by the number of employees.

Following this release, the monthly portrait of job vacancy information will no longer be available through the Job Vacancy Statistics program and will continue to be available through the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey. Details on this change to job vacancy data can be found on the Job Vacancy Statistics program page.

Real-time data tables

Real-time tables 14-10-0357-01, 14-10-0358-01, 14-10-0331-01 and 14-10-0332-01 will be updated on December 9.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for October will be released on December 19.

Products

Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for August are now available.

More information about the concepts and use of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours and Job Vacancy Statistics is available in the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (Catalogue number72-203-G).

The product "Earnings and payroll employment in brief: Interactive app" (Catalogue number14200001) is now available. This interactive visualization application provides a comprehensive picture of the Canadian labour market using the most recent data from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours. The estimates are seasonally adjusted and available by province and largest industrial sector. Historical estimates, going back 10 years, are also included. The interactive application allows users to quickly and easily explore and personalize the information presented. Combine multiple provinces and industrial sectors to create your own labour market domains of interest.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Dylan Saunders (613-762-6972; dylan.saunders@canada.ca), Centre for Labour Market Information.

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